Cars > Peek

Kia loves you so much it has created the Stinger GTS

A limited-edition version of the popular fastback sedan

This orange paint job is officially called ‘Federation’. Okay. PHOTO FROM KIA

Kia has only recently released the Stinger here in the Philippines, and if you have put in an order for one already, then now might be a good moment to check the sales contract for a cancellation option. That’s because the Korean automaker has just revealed a limited-edition version of its stylish fastback at the New York International Auto Show, and it looks mighty tasty. Equipped with a new all-wheel drive system that’s geared toward spirited driving as well as a snazzy new paint job, the Stinger GTS looks like a bundle of fun that only a few drivers will ever be able to get their hands on.

These are the cosmetic add-ons that set the Stinger GTS apart from the regular model. Attractive. PHOTOS FROM KIA

It seems Kia is quite happy with the powerplant that lives under the hood of the Stinger, so nothing was changed in this department. That means the GTS, which is limited to a production run of just 800 units, possesses the same 365hp, 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 as the GT version. It’s how this power is sent to the road, however, where things get really interesting. Fans of the car in the Philippines will know that we only get the RWD version in our market, but the Koreans also offer the car with an AWD system. The GTS has been fitted with a special iteration of the latter.

This GTS edition will make you look good around the track. PHOTOS FROM KIA

Called the D-AWD system, it comes with a new mechanical limited-slip rear diff and uses three different settings to determine where all the horses are being dispatched. Drive the car in Comfort mode and 60% of the power is directed to the rear wheels to keep things nice and steady. Switch to Sport mode and that figure rises to 80%. But if you really want some sideways fun, then there’s also a Drift mode, where 100% of the power is going to the rear wheels, and the eight-speed automatic transmission holds gears and won’t shift up while you let out your inner Keiichi Tsuchiya. But because not everyone has the driving skills of the drift king, the car also comes with some nifty electronic helpers like slip control and countersteer detection, as well as reprogrammed stability control.

The new Stinger GTS retains the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 found under the hood of the old GT model. PHOTOS FROM KIA

Bystanders are bound to notice the Stinger GTS even when it’s not going down the street sideways, as it comes with a special “Federation” orange exterior color and some real carbon-fiber bits on the hood, the side-mirror caps and the side vents. There’s also a new Stinger logo that replaces the Kia badge on the trunk. If that’s still not enough, then the driver can always open the sunroof and crank up the 720W Harman Kardon stereo in his never-ending search for attention. Pricing for North America has been set at $44,000 (P2.2 million) for the RWD version, and around $46,500 (P2.4 million) for the D-AWD variant. Sadly, we do not know yet if any of the GTS examples will make it to our shores, but we damn well hope so.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.